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Nov 3, 2003

My partner is HIV-positive and I was possibly exposed to the virus because of a broken condom. I'm getting a postexhibition profilaxis (Trizivir and Kaletra). Since there i a big number of also dangerous possible side effects, I would like to give up the treatment as soon as possible which is supposed to finish after 4 weeks. My question: I have heard that there is a HIV-test which can tell you if there is an infection already after 10 days (is it the HIV-PCR?). Is it possible to test after those 10 days and then in case of negative result to interrupt the pep?

Response from Dr. Pierone

This response to your question is dated and I am sure that your situation has been resolved by now. The use of Trizivir and Kaletra is an aggressive PEP regimen and I assume that your partner has drug resistant virus. The optimal duration of PEP is unknown, although guidelines suggest 4 weeks. I think that many people experiencing side effects on PEP do stop sooner than 4 weeks because they simply can't finish. It is possible to do an early HIV-RNA test (Viral load), but a negative test really can't be used as the rationale to stop PEP early. We don't have data to support this strategy of early testing to guide PEP duration. There are not definitive studies on PEP, but it does appear to lower the chance of transmission and makes intuitive sense.

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